Damascus, November 27, 2013
The situation is particularly worrying for Christians. The
population, about 25 thousand people, have begun to flee.
The militiamen examine the identification documents of
those who intend to leave the city and retain those who
have Christian names. To be able to leave the village, a
Greek Orthodox priest had to say he was married and
present himself with a woman: he was allowed to go just
because he had an Arab name and had no ancestry or
Fr. F.H., who in a note sent to Fides requested anonymity for security reasons, pleads the international community and the Holy See to mobilize in order to arrange for the release of the hostages and save the village of Deir Atieh. It is not clear, notes the source of Fides, what prompted the armed gangs to penetrate the village. Even hundreds of people from Qara, another Syrian village in the mountains of Qalamoun, 90 km from Damascus had found refuge. In recent weeks, Qara had been attacked by Islamist fighters from the city of Arzal. Among the refugees of Qara, who moved to Deir Atieh, there is also the Greek-Catholic priest Father George Luis and all his parishioners.